Derry GAA Chairperson Stephen Barker reflects on financial statement ahead of AGM and how wealth is valued in the GAA.
“As county chairman, my ambition is for Gaelic Games and Gaelic Culture to thrive in Derry to the very limits of their potential, both at club and county level, but for anything to truly thrive it must also be sustainable.
That doesn’t mean that we have modest ambitions, and we will always strive to provide the best possible environment to grow our games. But it does mean that we never under estimate the onus placed on us by the GAA members of Derry to ensure fiscal responsibility.
It’s a delicate balancing act but I think it’s one that we are delivering.
In Owenbeg and Celtic Park we can point to some of the best physical infrastructure of any county in Ireland. We also feel that we have one of the best talent development programmes around, the excellent record of our underage teams since 2015 shows that we are producing talented young players.
But we are always keen to refine and improve what we do and just last week our Games Development Committee published its latest proposals for the next phase of our Games Promotion Programme which will see a Games Promotion Officer in every club in the county.
We know that Derry supporters are hungry for success. But we are sure that we have all the building blocks in place; our structures are sound, we have the right people in the right roles, our processes are meticulous. I’m confident we’ll see the impact of this in how our senior teams perform in the years ahead.
As a county board we are very aware that we are only ever custodians of a sacred trust that the Gaels of the county place in us. In any role you want to be able to look back at your time and say you left things better than we found them.
We know that our prosperity as a GAA county isn’t measured by money in the bank, but by how many people in Derry participate and enjoy our activities. Having our finances on a solid footing is however a vital step in achieving that prosperity.”